Posted on Monday, November 26, 2012 by Paul in Music
One Direction get elbowed aside after a single week by perhaps the most boring number one of the year. But first, rock classics on iTunes.
40. AC/DC – “Highway To Hell”
You might not have realised this, but AC/DC apparently weren’t available on iTunes until this week. The charming luddites have finally succumbed, and so a bit of a cherrypicking of their back catalogue is going on this week. There’s one more coming up.
AC/DC also don’t have many of their back catalogue videos on YouTube, presumably reflecting their prior policy of shunning all forms of electricity not connected to an amp. Hence the version of the video posted above, which was banged out to promote their soundtrack to Iron Man 2.
AC/DC are arguably one of the best known bands never to have had a top ten hit. Technically, and inexplicably, their biggest UK hit was the forgettable “Heatseeker”, which reached number 12 in 1988, but quite a few of their singles peaked around that region. “Highway to Hell” missed the top 40 on its original release in 1979, but a live version reached number 14 in 1992.
A re-entry for DJ Fresh’s first hit, which reached number 24 two years ago. A remix by ShyFX is being released at the start of December, and the promotion for that is presumably responsible for getting the original (which is not hugely dissimilar) back into the top 40.
36. Rihanna (featuring David Guetta) – “Right Now”
This is a track from her new album “Unapologetic”, which predictably enters the chart at number one. Presumably it’s being cherrypicked because of the Guetta credit. It’s not officially on YouTube, but you won’t have trouble finding it if you want to.
A couple of other tracks from the album also made the top 75 – “Half Of Me” at 75, and (predictably but depressingly) the Chris Brown duet “Nobody’s Business” at 63. The current single “Diamonds” is still in the top 10.
I don’t normally mention fallers, but this is down 21 places in its second week. You see what I meant about their frontloaded sales?
27. AC/DC – “Back in Black”
The second of two AC/DC back catalogue tracks to make the top forty. Incredibly, this is an outright new entry – despite being universally regarded as a rock classic, “Back in Black” has never previously made the top 40.
Also being raided from the back catalogue: “You Shook Me All Night Long” at 42; “Thunderstruck” at 44; and “Whole Lotta Rosie” at 68. The new album “Live at River Plate” also makes 14 on the album chart.
14. Rudimental (featuring John Newman and Alex Clare) – “Not Giving In”
The follow-up to “Feel The Love”, which made number one in June, is on similar soul/drum’n’bass lines, and doesn’t match its predecessor’s success. But it’s still a good single, and the rise-above-adversity video is better than the set of slum-tourism cliches you might initially expect. John Newman was the singer on the previous single, Alex Clare is the guy who did “Too Close”.
Down nine places in its second week out, and that’s going to worry some people. As of Monday evening, it’s at 18 on iTunes.
A similar problem afflicts its rival from last week, “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars, which drops from 2 to 9 – though it’s likely to rebound, since it was on the X Factor results show.
This hasn’t been standard behaviour for high new entries in a while, so it’s odd to see it happen to three records in one week.
5. Alicia Keys – “Girl on Fire”
Finally arriving in the UK a good two months after most of the world got it, this is the lead single from Keys’ next album, and her first new material in about two and a half years. It’s the sort of material that used to work well for Leona Lewis.
You know who you should really admire, though? Billy Squier’s lawyers. His 1980 single “The Big Beat”, which is largely unheard of in the UK, happens to open with an easy-to-sample drum riff that consequently crops up rather frequently on other people’s records. And when it does, his lawyers consistently get him a co-writing credit, just for the drums. He’s got one for this, even though it just uses the riff in slowed down form. You may also recognise them from Jay-Z’s “99 Problems”, or (in undiluted form, and with some of the original vocal intact) Dizzee Rascal’s “Fix Up Look Sharp”.
2. Girls Aloud – “Something New”
The girl band formed back in the dawn of reality talent shows are celebrating their tenth year in the business, though they haven’t actually released any records since 2009 when Cheryl Cole embarked on a solo career and the rest of the group chose to present that as a “hiatus”. As is the way when four members of a group have nothing better in their diaries and the fifth finds their solo career faltering a bit, it’s reunion time.
“Something New” also reunites Girls Aloud with their regular producers Xenomania. They were always prone to produce records that turned out on close inspection to be odder than they first seem, and this is one of them – it doesn’t really have any verses, just stuff to fill time between the choruses. Though admittedly, it’s not like there’s that much time to fill.
This was also a charity single for Children in Need, so all in all, it’s surprising that it hasn’t made number one. But the British public – I’m looking at you, British public – opted for this…
Olly Murs and Flo Rida, ladies and gentlemen. Because you demanded it. Together at last. At least last time round it was Rizzle Kicks. But Flo Rida?
This is the lead single from Murs’ third album, and his fourth number one (after “Dance With Me Tonight”, “Heart Skips a Beat” and “Please Don’t Let Me Go”), so it’s hard to deny that he’s doing something right. He was a runner up on X Factor in 2009, when he was beaten by Joe McElderry. But it was always apparent that McElderry’s natural habitat was in musical theatre, and that Murs was better suited to pop music. On stage, at any rate. Vocally, he’s never been a particularly notable presence.
He was signed by Simon Cowell after the show, and has spent the time since then making some of the blander records you’ll see in the chart. It’s a niche that he’s got mostly to himself, which may go some way towards explaining the appeal. Still, for people who like that sort of thing, his records do tend to be catchy. “Troublemaker” is a thoroughly boring record – on the most charitable view, it’s a Maroon 5 B-side – but after listening to it a couple of times for the purposes of this blog, it turns out to be remarkably hard to dislodge from my head. That didn’t make me like it any more, mind you, but I can’t dispute that it has a chorus.
Why does any artist sign up for this much nonsense? He surely can’t need the money that badly. Perhaps it’s a Japanese advert thing – after all, it’s hard to imagine he has the sort of fanbase that’s going to trawl YouTube for his overseas “featuring” credits.
Alarmingly, “Troublemaker” has every chance of managing a second week at the top, if only because there are no major new releases out.
Over on the album chart:
“Unapologetic” by Rihanna at 1. See above.
“DNA” by Little Mix at 3. The big question is, where will it be next week? Its current iTunes chart placing of 29 suggests “nowhere good”.
“Celebration Day” by Led Zeppelin at 4. Live album recorded in 2007 but for some reason only released now. Its their first new album since “How The West Was Won” in 2003 (and that was a collection of live recordings from the 70s).
“Christmas” by Michael Buble at 5. Seasonal re-entry.
“Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs” by Susan Boyle at 7. Self-explanatory, really.
“The Evolution of Man” by Example at 13. His last album made number 1, and the one before made 4, so he probably won’t be thrilled by this.
“Live at River Plate” by AC/DC at 14. The token new release alongside the iTunes dump.
“I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston” at 29. For anyone who wasn’t quite satisfied with the track listing on her previous three greatest hits albums.